The knee is a complicated structure of bones, tendons, ligaments, and tissues working together. An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the major ligaments in the knee and runs diagonally across in the middle of the knee. It provides rotational stability to the knee and prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. When the ACL is injured, the surrounding ligaments and cartilage are often also sprained. The most common injuries occur during sports that involve sudden stops, jumping, or changes in direction. ACL injuries could tear partially, but this is rare. It is more common for there to be a near complete or a complete tear. For more information about caring for a torn ACL in Oklahoma City, contact Olsen Orthopedics.
The Risk of Getting an ACL Injury
Prevention of an ACL Injury
Wearing the proper footwear and necessary padding for your sport can help prevent many kinds of injury. Proper training and exercise can also help prevent injury. Exercises that strengthen leg muscles, especially hamstring exercises, to ensure an overall balance in leg muscles, should also include techniques for proper knee positions in jumping, landing, pivoting, and cutting. Exercises should also strengthen the hips, pelvis, and lower abdomen to improve agility and balance.
Symptoms of a Torn ACL
If you feel unstable on a leg or feel your knee “giving way” when bearing weight, there is a chance of a torn ACL. Some other indicators include a loud “pop” or a popping sensation in the knee, severe pain and loss of a range in motion, swelling a few hours following the pain and loss of motion. Seek immediate medical attention if any injury to the knee shows these signs.
Treatment of an ACL Injury
Our medical professional can determine the extent of the injury with a physical exam, but in some cases, an X-ray or MRI may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, almost always, the patient will need surgery to reconstruct the ligament. Recovery after surgery depends on the injury and the patient.